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Systems for detecting charged particles in object inspection

United States Patent

August 20, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
Techniques, apparatus and systems for detecting particles such as muons. In one implementation, a monitoring system has a cosmic ray-produced charged particle tracker with a plurality of drift cells. The drift cells, which can be for example aluminum drift tubes, can be arranged at least above and below a volume to be scanned to thereby track incoming and outgoing charged particles, such as cosmic ray-produced muons, while also detecting gamma rays. The system can selectively detect devices or materials, such as iron, lead, gold and/or tungsten, occupying the volume from multiple scattering of the charged particles passing through the volume and can also detect any radioactive sources occupying the volume from gamma rays emitted therefrom. If necessary, the drift tubes can be sealed to eliminate the need for a gas handling system. The system can be employed to inspect occupied vehicles at border crossings for nuclear threat objects.
Morris; Christopher L. (Los Alamos, NM), Makela; Mark F. (Los Alamos, NM)
Los Alamos National Security, LLC (Los Alamos, NM)
13/ 591,118
August 21, 2012
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract Number DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.